Orthotics are orthopaedic devices that are placed in an athletes shoes in an attempt to correct lower limb biomechanical abnormality. They are made out of a variety of compounds including rigid orthotic materials such as carbon fibre. At Manchester sports podiatry Paul feels that the orthotic should not compromise the shock absorbency of the sports shoe it is worn in, so all our orthotics are made from compounds that are used by the leading sports footwear manufacturers. Many professional athletes wear our orthotics, a testament to how comfortable and effective they really are.
“I can’t count how many podiatrists I have consulted over the past 30 years. When my Physio suggested I should see Paul I was initially sceptical. I’ve now been treated by Paul for almost two years and have regained movement in my foot and am pain-free when I run. To be able to complete a marathon this year when an orthopaedic surgeon had said ‘you’ll never run a marathon’ was thanks to Paul.”
Georgina (keen club runner)
The aim of a foot orthotic is to correct dysfunctional biomechanics and therefore:
- Reduce pain
- Provide support orthotic
- Prevent or halt the development of foot deformity
- Provide better positioning
- Relieve pressure on a certain area of the foot
- Improve the overall biomechanical function of the foot and the lower limb
- Help prevent lower limb injury
- Speed up rehabilitation after injury
- Types of orthotics
- There are three types of orthotics: soft, semirigid, and rigid
A soft orthotic is pictured here. Its function is to provide cushion, improve shock absorption, decrease shear force, and redistribute pressure. This type of orthotic is indicated for a rigid foot. It provides little support which is not needed in this particular instance. The most important aspect is to cushion the rigid foot and decrease the force so that injury is prevented.
The next is a semirigid orthotic which is seen here. This orthotic functions to control or balance the mal aligned foot as well as provide some flexibility and shock absorption. It has increased compliance and is the most common orthotic prescribed. Those individuals with flat feet are the beneficiaries of this type of orthotic. Finally, the rigid orthotic serves to control gross unwanted motion. It is not accommodating and offers no shock absorption or cushioning. This type of orthotic is indicated for the neurologic patient that has poor control of their feet.
Orthotics tailored to the client
Using information from our dynamic computerised system, video gait analysis and examination of foot structure weightbearing and none weightbearing as well as the history of injury, Paul will, if necessary manufacture an orthotic tailored to your specific requirements. This is made in house at our laboratory. This keeps costs to a minimum and orthotics can be altered as necessary free of charge. An orthotic is only part of a treatment plan and will usually be given in conjunction with a bespoke exercise progreamme.